Although appropriations for fiscal year 2007 have yet to be finalized, on Monday, 5 February 2007 the President released the administration's budget request for the 2008 fiscal year. Aside from the widely reported plan to actually include a budget estimate for the cost of the war in Iraq and to reduce the deficit over the coming five years, the budget plan also articulates the administration's priorities for all federal agencies and programs. Based on an earlier and still preliminary analysis, some science programs at select agencies could see significant budget increases in FY 08 if the administration's budget numbers are adopted by Congress. Importantly, not all areas of research and not all federal agencies are slated for overdue budget increases.

At the National Science Foundation (NSF), the administration has requested significant budget increases for directorates viewed as central to the administration's American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI). Although the proposed increases vary by directorate, many of the physical science, engineering and cyber- related directorates would receive budget bumps ranging from nearly 7 to 10 percent. The BIO directorate would receive almost 4.1 percent in new funding, placing the FY 08 request at roughly $633 million or $ 25.15 million more than the administration's FY 07 request. Meanwhile, the social science, behavior and economics directorate would receive roughly 3.9 percent in new funding. Overall, for Research and Related Activities (RR&A) programs, the administration has requested $5.131 billion, an average increase across all directorates of roughly 7.7 percent over the FY 2007 request.

The AIBS Public Policy Office is now in the process of evaluating the federal budget for other biology and environment related programs and will include additional analysis in forthcoming reports.


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